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casting a marketing spell

a strong partnership takes root

WCG was honored to be selected as Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s agency of record in 2023. They had a few fresh, exciting goals: 1) drive increased visits to seasonal exhibits and 2) reach new audiences that have been historically underrepresented at the Garden. To that end, they were delighted to feature the world debut of “Incanto: An Oasis of Lyrical Sculpture” – a multisensory experience blending art and poetry, offering day and night exploration. This one-of-a-kind exhibit, which ran from April through October, featured five sweeping, intricate sculptures designed to be in dialogue with the Garden's stunning landscape.

This meant we were well-positioned to deliver a strategic approach that could help boost visitation at the Garden. Our client’s goal was a 10% year-over-year (YOY) improvement. We more than doubled that, increasing YOY visitation by a stunning 34% for May through October 2023, the length of Incanto’s run.

planting the seeds

WCG developed a multiphase, multichannel campaign to promote the premiere exhibit. We initiated a heavy launch promotion that activated digital, non-digital, and influencer channels within the Garden’s core drive market. Furthermore, we strategically partnered with local media and developed out-of-home placements to boost awareness – a communications strategy that dually served to reach those who have not traditionally visited the Garden.

But we didn’t stop there: WCG also expanded the reach of Incanto outside of the Garden’s core drive market by leveraging additional grant funding from the Virginia Tourism Corporation. Through this financial support, we were able to engage audiences with a high affinity for the arts in the Hampton Roads/DC/NYC metro areas using Google and Meta platforms, accompanied by stunning drone footage shot in house.

cultivating results

The campaign started with a bang. In fact, Garden visitation surged by 42% for May – the debut month of Incanto. In addition, visitors from nearly 1,600 distinct zip codes came to experience the Garden during that first month. By October, our view through click campaigns had driven 5.8M impressions, 88K clicks, and 62.1K site visits. The campaign ended on a high note, with visitation spiking by nearly 47% in October, the closing month of the exhibit. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is thrilled with the outsized results and our partnership continues to blossom in fresh ways – including a robust campaign for their annual winter event, Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights, voted #1 Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights Show by USA Today.

Chart showing increase in garden visitation

Many thanks to you and the team for an excellent job with the creative for Incanto! You really knocked it out of the park.

– Beth Monroe, Chief Marketing Officer, Lewis Ginter

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